Update Your Profile

Stay up to date with all West Point news and stay connected with fellow grads

Update your Register Entry

Cullum Files

historical records

Class Notes

login required, available to graduates & widows

Click HERE to have West Point Grad News emailed to you -
 you will be directed to a secure Feedburner Form - separate from all WPAOG email systems

Submit stories and photos to News Guy   
Grad News Archive searchable PDF: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

West Point Grad News RSS Feed
WPAOG Welcomes Darwin Haines ’86 as New Chief Operating Officer

WPAOG is pleased to announce that Darwin Haines ’86 has joined us as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining WPAOG, Haines was Senior Vice President at Tripp Lite, where he was responsible for the general management of Tripp Lite’s international business, including offices in Mexico, South America, Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa. Before working at Tripp Lite, Haines worked at the mobile phone division of Motorola, where he held positions in the U.S. and Germany as Six Sigma Marketing Master Black Belt and Director of Global Distributor Channel. After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in 1986, Haines was commissioned as an aviation officer, and served eleven years in the U.S. Army, leaving as a Major. Following his military service Haines pursued a career in the private sector, holding various senior roles in engineering, sales and global product marketing at Gast Manufacturing (IDEX Corporation) and Enerpac (Actuant Corporation). In 2001, Haines received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Read More

New Book about General Fox Conner 1898

John J. Pershing considered Fox Conner class of 1898 to have been “a brilliant solider” and “one of the finest characters our Army has ever produced.” During World War I, General Conner served as chief of operations for the American Expeditionary Forces. Pershing told Conner: “I could have spared any other man in the A.E.F. better than you.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower viewed Fox Conner, as “the outstanding soldier of my time.” In the early 1920s, Conner transformed his protégé Eisenhower from a struggling young officer on the verge of a court-martial into one of the American army’s rising stars. Eisenhower acknowledged General Conner as “the one more or less invisible figure to whom I owe an incalculable debt.”  

General Fox Conner: Pershing’s Chief of Operations and Eisenhower’s Mentor,
by Steven Rabalais (Casemate Publishers, 2016) presents the first complete biography of this significant, but mostly forgotten, figure in American military history.

Lizardi ’94 Named CFO of Texas Instruments

Rafael Lizardi '94Texas Instruments announced that Rafael Lizardi will become the company's next Chief Financial Officer, effective February 1, 2017. Lizardi follows current Chief Financial Officer Kevin March, who has been in the role for 13 years. March plans to retire in October 2017 and between now and then will oversee the transition of duties between himself and Lizardi. Lizardi, 44, joined TI in 2001 and was named vice president in 2010 followed by corporate controller in 2012. He holds a master's in business administration from Stanford University. Prior to joining TI, Lizardi was a captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Additionally, Lizardi holds the designation of Certified Management Accountant.

"Rafael brings discipline, integrity and skill to the role. His years in finance and controller positions for our manufacturing group and our Analog product lines have enabled him to develop in-depth knowledge of our semiconductor operations. As controller for the entire company over the last four years, he has done an excellent job managing financial planning, accounting and business planning at the highest level. Rafael and Kevin have worked together closely for a decade, and they share a commitment to ethical and transparent operations," said Rich Templeton, TI's chairman, president and chief executive officer. Read More

Hodell ’91 Named CEO at Skullcandy

The Board of Directors at Skullcandy, Inc. have appointed Jason Hodell ’91 as Chief Executive Officer. Hoby Darling, Skullcandy’s outgoing President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “I can't be more pleased that Jason will be the next leader of the Skullcandy and Astro Gaming brands. Jason’s years of service as Skullcandy’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, his excitement for the brands and his motivation make him the best choice to continue the leadership of the company as it begins its next chapter.” Jason Hodell stated "I cannot be more honored about the opportunity to lead Skullcandy. We have two strong, market-dominant brands, and I am confident we will continue to excite our customers with our products. I speak for the whole Skullcandy family as we thank Hoby Darling for his mentorship, dedication and motivation in leading Skullcandy to this point. His contributions led to the turnaround of Skullcandy, years of solid growth and a terrific company culture." Skullcandy was acquired by an affiliate of Mill Road Capital Management LLC in a merger that closed on October 3, 2016. Thomas Lynch, Mill Road’s Founder, commented, “I am delighted that Jason Hodell has accepted the job of CEO of Skullcandy and have full confidence that he will be an outstanding leader and will further develop the Skullcandy family of brands into one of America’s leading branded lifestyle companies.”

Bahr ’69 Publishes "George Washington's Liberty Key"

Bahr ’69 Publishes "George Washington's Liberty Key"This newly published book is about the most interesting key ever made, which now hangs in the central passageway of George Washington’s Mount Vernon mansion, helping to greet over a million visitors a year.  The main key to the Bastille prison in Paris, it was given in 1790 to Washington, the patriarch of liberty, by his missionary, the Marquis de Lafayette, who took the “sacred fire of liberty" he discovered in America and tried to fan its flames in France.  Become a history detective and find out how this unique key was made, how the man who made it helped kill a king, and how it made its way to Mount Vernon.  Along the way, learn about the interesting and unexpected twists and turns made in unlocking the doors hiding the truth about the key, which some (incorrectly) argue is a counterfeit.  Then learn what Washington and Lafayette each believed was the “key” to establishing and maintaining liberty, and what went right and wrong in their respective revolutions.  Finally, learn how the key continues to inspire a world-wide devotion to freedom.  Book makes the case for how leaders of character are critical for success in the eternal quest for liberty.  

Moores ’84 & Ecklund ’83 Publish Neurotrauma Book

Moores ’84 & Ecklund ’83 Publish Neurotrauma BookAfter retiring from the United States Army as Colonels, Jim M. Ecklund, MD and Leon E. Moores, MD joined forces again at Inova Health System in Northern Virginia. Combining their experiences and wide network of subject matter experts in severe trauma, the two neurosurgeons were able to jointly develop and publish a landmark neurotrauma book entitled Neurotrauma Management for the Severely Injured Polytrauma Patient

 “Jim and I are very excited to be able to bring this unique work to those who take care of the most severely injured trauma patients,” Dr. Moores said.  “It was amazing collaborating with the distinguished group of authors whose experience and expertise add much to the concept of a multidisciplinary approach to this most complex care.”

The text addresses many of the questions which occur when medical professionals of various disciplines interact and have different plans and interventions, each with its own valid scientific and/or experience-based rationale:  Questions involving tourniquet placement, ideal fluids and volumes for resuscitation, VTE prophylaxis and many other management considerations. Straightforward decisions in the patient with a single diagnosis often conflict when applied to the neurologically injured polytrauma patients.  Neurotrauma Management for the Severely Injured Polytrauma Patient answers as many of these questions as possible based on the current literature, vast experience with severe neurotrauma in the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the experience of trauma experts across the globe; as well as proposes areas for future study where answers are currently less clear.

 Ecklund serves as Chairman of the Inova Neuroscience Institute, and Moores is the CEO of Pediatric Specialists of Virginia and the Associate Chair for Pediatric Programs at the Inova Neuroscience Institute.

WPAOG Annual Meeting Election Results

At the WPAOG Annual Meeting today, the following members were elected to positions on the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council. They will serve their terms from January 1, 2017, until December 31, 2019.

Herman E. Bulls ’78 - 3,309
Archie Elam ’76 - 3,299
John M. Robb ’91 - 3,313
Clyde A. Selleck ’77 - 3,322
Stanley J. Shipley ’73 - 3,296
Jeffrey A. Sorenson ’73 - 3,354

Advisors at Large:
Brandon J. Archuleta ’06 - 3,094
Keirn C. Brown ’69 - 3,105
Carl P. Cecil ’73 - 3,053
Rosanne F. Hidalgo-Ott ’88 - 3,064
Mark W. House ’80 - 3,035
James S. Pappafotis ’78 - 3,042

Dr. Lewis ’84 Releases "When Brains Collide"

Whether a car accident, fall off a bike, or suffer a helmet-to-helmet hit at football practice, there is nearly a 20% chance that you or someone close to you will suffer a concussion this year. Over 30% of such concussions will lead to long-term, potentially permanent disability. Even worse, many of these concussions are mild and go unnoticed and untreated. Culminating a career spanning over three decades in the U.S. Army, Dr. Michael Lewis developed The Omega-3 Protocol, the military-grade brain injury treatment process for dealing with the concussive dangers of everyday life. Concussions are not always preventable, but they are treatable. “After surgeons have addressed any acute life threatening symptoms linked to the initial injury, the prescribed treatment for treating concussion is physical rest and medication for lingering symptoms like headache or nausea. Currently there is no neuro-protective or neuro-regenerative treatment that addresses repairing the brain itself,” says Dr. Lewis. In his new book, When Brains Collide, Dr. Lewis clearly summarizes the research on omega-3 fatty acids and the benefits they provide. He shares compelling stories of real people who experienced the healing benefits of omega-3 protocols, and provides detailed information on how to use them in various situations. He says that successes in using omega-3 fatty acids to treat comatose accident victims suffering head injuries (as reported by Dr. Lewis in The Journal of the American College of Surgeons, The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, and Journal of the American College of Nutrition) led him to the development of essential fatty acid-based nutritional protocols to address concussions and severe TBI as well as ways to prevent concussions from occurring in the first place.

Branch Night Class of 2017

Branch Night electrifies First Year cadets like no other event, save for Graduation. “We are super excited, super pumped up,” said CDT Bobby Provine ’17 as he and his E-4 company mates entered Eisenhower Auditorium for the event.
Read More & See Branch Allocation Numbers

Sims ’91 Promoted to the Rank of Brigadier General

Douglas Arthur “DA” Sims II ’91 Douglas Arthur “DA” Sims II ’91 was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in a ceremony at the U.S. Forces Afghanistan National Support Element Headquarters. Brig. Gen. Sims is the 1st Cavalry Division deputy commander for support and the commander of Task Force Forge in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Major General JT Thomson, commander of the 1st Cav. Div. presided over the ceremony. Attending via video teleconference were Sims’ wife, Faye, and daughter, Madeline, along with the 4th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Ryan Gonsalves and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Crosby from Fort Carson, Colorado. Sims’ brother and sister-in-law and Brigadier General Jim Blackburn also attended via VTC from San Antonio. The 1st Cav. Div. home station mission command team, including Colonel Bob Whittle and Colonel Jay Gallivan joined via VTC from Fort Hood. During the ceremony, Thomson affixed the one-star rank to Sims’ uniform and replaced the colonel cavalry hat with a general officer one. He also presented the general officer belt. 1st Cav. Div. Command Sergeant Major Maurice Jackson presided over the unfurling of Sims’ one-star flag. “This promotion is great news for our Army, and a well-earned promotion for an incredible leader,” Thomson said. He has served as a leader from platoon to regiment and currently commands a train, advise and assist task force. “Our Soldiers, our Families, our civilians are all blessed to have a leader of this caliber in our ranks,” Thomson said. Known for his positive approach, Sims’ motto for the small task force he commands is “day-by-day better.” Read More

Townes ’75 Company Wins "Deal of the Year" Award

Steve Townes ’75 Steve Townes ’75 company Ranger Aerospace, a private equity consolidator and management holding company specialized in aviation deals since 1997, has won the M&A Middle Market Private Equity Deal of the Year Award, by The M&A Advisor international financial publication. The award, presented in New York on Nov. 9th, is for Ranger's acquisition of ACL Airshop, a worldwide company headquartered in South Carolina, and with service operations at more than 30 of the world's top fifty air cargo hub airports. Ranger Aerospace and its several institutional private equity co-investors acquired majority interest in ACL Airshop in February 2016. An independent body of experts representing a cross-section of the middle market industry assessed hundreds of nominees, judging the finalists' deals, deal-makers and firms. The holding company for this investment is Ranger Airshop Holdings, Inc. Ranger-led ventures have been consistently branded in that manner at the holding company level, while operating companies' legacy brands have been retained and amplified. In past aviation ventures, Ranger Aerospace won similar awards for Deal of the Year in 2009, and Deal of the Decade in 2011 (for the decade ending 2010). Ranger's own divestiture of Ranger International Services Group won 3 Deal of the Year awards in 2012 for the sale of that multi-faceted technical services company to a large engineering firm. The ACL Airshop acquisition was also a finalist in two other categories for the 2016 awards. Read More

Brennan ’08 & Donnelly ’09 Selected as Take Point Fellows

Brennan ’08 & Donnelly ’09 Selected as Take Point FellowsAndrew Brennan ’08 and Brian Donnelly ’09 have been selected as Atlantic Council Take Point Fellows. The Program features a world-class curriculum of hands-on skills training, public events and speaking opportunities where fellows can distinguish themselves as thought leaders and intellectual entrepreneurs, and an exclusive retreat in partnership with Boulder Crest where fellows will have the opportunity to connect directly with senior officials in an off-record setting to discuss pressing foreign policy and veterans’ topics.

Andrew Brennan is the founder and executive director of the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation. Deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, he led a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter platoon. Andrew is active with Mission Continues and advisor to the VA Healthcare System’s Innovation Board in Pittsburgh. Brian Donnelly is a former Captain in the US Army Civil Affairs Branch currently working on a PhD in International Relations. His dissertation work through the Geneva Graduate School of Governance examines the narratives associated with counter terrorism and development in Africa and how they illuminate broader Western Grand Strategy.

GEN(R) Austin ’75, Shellum ’76 Speak at the First Military Symposium

General (Retired) Lloyd J. Austin III '75 and author Brian G. Shellum '76 spoke on panels during the first Veterans Day military symposium at the National Museum of African American History and CultureGeneral (Retired) Lloyd J. Austin III '75 and author Brian G. Shellum '76 spoke on panels during the first Veterans Day military symposium at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. General Austin spoke with other distinguished panel members on a panel titled "Reflections on Service" and Mr. Shellum talked about the legacy of Colonel Charles Young, USMA 1889, with other authors on a panel titled "Remembering World War I." The panels were followed by a book signing at the museum where author Shellum signed copies of his book "Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young."

CORRECTION: This story as originally published in Grad News on Nov. 15, 2016 cited the wrong class year for GEN (R) Lloyd J. Austin III, a graduate of the West Point Class of 1975.  West Point Association of Graduates regrets the error.

Class of ’68 Honors Their Fallen Brothers

Class of ’68 Honors Their Fallen BrothersOn October 20, 2016, the Class of 1968 held a memorial event at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center in Columbus, GA to honor 20 classmates who were killed in Vietnam. The museum was recently named the “best free museum in America” in USA Today’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Poll.  On the grounds of the museum is a ¾-scale replica of the actual Vietnam Wall and an entrance plaza with educational granite panels detailing the war. Visitors can lay individual granite pavers at the base of three of the panels for those whose names are etched on the adjacent wall. More than 160 classmates and family members from the Class of 1968 came for a three-day commemoration, culminating in the solemn dedication of 20 pavers. During roll call, a widow, sibling, or classmate of the fallen placed a red rose on his paver. BG (R) Dan Kaufman ’68, former USMA Dean, gave the keynote address at the ceremony. A dinner followed, during which LTG (R) Larry Jordan ’68, WPAOG Board Chairman, made remarks about these 20 classmates who have joined the ghostly assemblage of the Long Gray Line.

Guevara '23 Biography Written by Grandson

West Point, Bataan, and Beyond - Santiago Guevara USMA '23West Point, Bataan, and Beyond is a narrative of  the life and experiences of Santiago Guevara, a Filipino West Point Cadet and friend of MacArthur who fought on Bataan, was bayoneted on the Death March, suffered the disease and deprivation of Camp O'Donnell POW camp, and underwent three years of Japanese occupation in Manila. The book includes details of all twenty-seven Filipino cadets (1914-1941), including the six ultimately executed by the Japanese Kempetai before liberation, and transcripts of Santiago's letters from the POW Camp; a first-person snapshot of the conditions he and his men endured.

BG(R) Meese ’81 Leading Trump's Transition Team

One of the first senior officials that President-elect Donald Trump has tapped to help guide his administration as it takes power is a retired military officer and highly regarded scholar who actively assisted Pentagon efforts to nation-build in Iraq and Afghanistan — something Trump has repeatedly criticized. Retired Army Brig. Gen. Michael J. Meese was a senior adviser to Gen. David H. Petraeus in both countries, and spent nine years teaching at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. He deployed from there to serve as Petraeus’s assistant chief of staff in Afghanistan for a year beginning in July 2010, and to Iraq in both 2007 and 2009 to guide the surge and eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops there that Petraeus led. He also earned a doctorate from Princeton University while serving.

Retired Army Col. Peter R. Mansoor, Petraeus’s former No. 2 officer, said that Meese is known as bright, talented and conscientious among his peers. In Afghanistan, he was in charge of alliance relations in the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, a complicated job at an especially bloody time in the war after the Obama administration surged tens of thousands of troops to battle the Taliban.“Anyone who can keep that group heading in the same direction should be well suited to assisting the Trump team with government transition in the weeks ahead,” Mansoor said. Read More

Sullivan ’89 Nominated for Salute to Service Award

Veterans’ Day has a special meaning for New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. Sullivan played at, graduated from, and coached at the United States Military Academy. He also served as a United States Army Ranger. “It is a very important day. It’s obviously a time we recognize those men and women who have served and all the sacrifices that have been made,” Sullivan said. “None of us get to do what we’re doing had it not been for those sacrifices and also to keep in mind those are currently serving.” Sullivan was announced as the Giants’ nominee for the Salute to Service Award. The award, presented annually by the NFL and USAA (a financial services company for current and former military members and their families), is to honor a member of the NFL community who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community. Read More

Thank you to the Class of ’91

This past weekend during the Army vs. Air Force football game, the Class of 1991, in commemoration of its 25th reunion, generously presented a gift of $701,991 in support of the Army Cyber Institute. Mr. Scott Clemenson and Mr. Anthony DeToto represented the Class. Thank you to the Class of 1991 for its outstanding support of West Point!

Rosendahl ’13 Abets KSU Spirit Mission

LTC Travis Habhab (Kansas State University ROTC ’98) is a KSU season ticket holder currently deployed to Afghanistan. On a recent flight with one of his lieutenants, 1LT Doug Rosendahl ’13, they displayed the Wildcats flag in the window of their Apache! Rosendahl attended KSU for one year before transferring to West Point, and Habhab was an instructor in the Department of Social Sciences at USMA from 2007-2009.

LTC(R) Lawson ’84 Recognized by Best Lawyers & Super Lawyers

LTC(R) Lance A. Lawson ’84 has been selected for inclusion in the 2016 editions of The Best Lawyers in America and North Carolina Super Lawyers. Both directories rely on an extensive peer-review process and limit their selection to a small percentage of attorneys in each state. Best Lawyers is regarded by The American Lawyer as “the most respected list of attorneys in practice.” Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on a peer-review evaluation totaling more than 7.3 million votes. This marks the fifth consecutive year that Mr. Lawson has received this honor.

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers for their outstanding professional achievements. Mr. Lawson was first recognized by Super Lawyers in 2006. Mr. Lawson is the Managing Shareholder of McNair Law Firm’s Charlotte office and leader of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Lawson served over nine years on active duty as an Engineer Officer including command of an airborne engineer unit in Operations Desert Shield and Storm. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame law school, Mr. Lawson served as a JAG Officer in the U.S. Army Reserves and retired after 21 years of service with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

1LT Holder ’13 Starting for USA Rugby Again

1LT Will Holder '13Will Holder made his international debut in the summer of 2012 wearing the No. 10 jersey against Tier One Italy. He will work with scrum half Nate Augspurger against the Maori All Blacks Friday night, continuing the rapport the two have cultivated with the Men's Eagles Sevens program. Fellow sevens stars Martin Iosefo and Matai Leuta will fly down the wings in their first XVs appearances with the Eagles, while Niua will rampage the midfield with Bryce Campbell in the Indiana University man's first national team match. Mike Te'o will start at full back having proven his reliability at the position throughout the summer and with the development team last month. Read More

Draper ’64 Special Collections Dedicated at West Point Library

The United States Military Academy Library dedicated two new special collections on October 28. The Stephen E. Draper Collection on Water Scarcity and National Security and The Lucy H. Draper Collections on Women at West Point and “Women Warriors” were donated by Dr. Stephen E. Draper ’64 and his wife Lucy Hargrett Draper. Stephen Draper is a national and international water law and policy scholar, and a decorated Vietnam War veteran. Lucy Draper is an activist, author, and officer for national, state, and local women’s rights organizations. A pioneering advocate for women at West Point, she was instrumental in the passage of the federal legislation to admit women into the service academies, and as founder and first President of West Point NOW (National Organization for Women), in effecting far-reaching changes in opportunities for female staff and spouses at West Point.

Photo: LTC (R) Fritz Lash ’69, Dr. Stephen Draper ’64, Mrs. Lucy Draper, Mr. Christopher Barth, Ms. Suzanne Christoff, Ms. Jessie Roxanne Draper (photo courtesy of USMA Library)

“We are thrilled to add these materials to our collections and look forward to their use in supporting the mission of the U.S. Military Academy to train and inspire the next generation of leaders for the Army and the nation,” said Christopher D. Barth, West Point Librarian and Associate Dean.

In addition to donating these invaluable archival materials and supporting other programs at West Point, the Drapers have established The Stephen E. Draper Library Endowment for Historical Research to provide cadets, faculty, and staff at West Point with materials that emphasize the lessons of history and their importance to future response to national security challenges.

Mazzoli ’76 Receives Wendell L. Hughes Lecture Award

COL(R) Dr. Robert Mazzoli '76COL(R) Dr. Robert Mazzoli was recently honored by his colleagues of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) with the 2016 Wendell L. Hughes Lecture Award presented annually to recognize the most prominent and innovative contributor to the advancement of oculoplastic surgery. This is the highest honor awarded by the Society.

Wegner ’93 Launches Authentically American Brand

Dean Wegner '93Dean Wegner has announced the introduction of Omega Apparel’s new Authentically American apparel brand which will officially launch on Thursday, November 11th, Veteran’s Day. There is special significance for launching on Veteran’s Day. The Authentically American brand is grounded in three promises that encompass the essence of the brand: Authentically Made (stamped to certify 100% Made in USA), Authentically Patriotic (10% of each purchase donated to fund scholarships for children of military veterans), and Authentically You (each purchase supports job creation and rebuilding the US Apparel Industry). Visit the Authentically American website to read more about the brand “story” and how Omega is giving back to our American Heroes.

William D. Mounger ’48 West Point Writing Center Dedicated

William Mounger '48 with Writing FellowsOn Wednesday, October 26, members of the Office of the Dean, Department of English and Philosophy, and Corps of Cadets gathered on the second floor of Jefferson Hall to celebrate the dedication of the William D. Mounger ’48 West Point Writing Center. Located on the second floor of Jefferson Hall, the Mounger Writing Center (MWC) sponsors one-on-one consultations, periodic group workshops, and targeted special events to all Cadets working on writing and communications projects for any academic course, personal interest, or professional opportunities. The conversations that occur in the MWC are designed to help all writers express themselves more clearly, forcefully, and effectively. The Academy has renamed the center in recognition of Mr. Mounger’s enduring commitment to Cadet education, specifically his significant support to the Department of English and Philosophy. At the end of the ceremony, Cadet Cameron Voigt ’17, a Mathematics major and Cadet in Charge of the MWC, expressed his appreciation to Mr. Mounger by stating, "I've seen such huge strides made in the success and effectiveness of this group and that’s thanks to your generosity."

Russ ’91 Releases 'Spirit Mission'

Ted Russ ’91To honor bonds forged twenty-five years ago at West Point, Lieutenant Colonel Sam Avery leads an illegal mission deep into ISIS-held territory. An MH-47G Chinook helicopter departs formation in the Iraqi night. The mission is unauthorized. Success is unlikely. But to save a friend, Sam Avery and his crew of Night Stalkers have prepared for one last flight.

ISIS operatives in Tal Afar, Iraq, have captured American aid worker Henry Stillmont. Avery knows Stillmont as “the Guru,” the West Point squad leader who taught him about brotherhood, loyalty, and when to break the rules as a young cadet twenty-five years ago. Sam will risk his career and his life to save him. As they near their target, Sam reflects on his time in the crucible of the United States Military Academy. West Point made Sam the leader he is. But his fellow cadets made him the man that he is. The ideals of duty, honor, and country have echoed throughout his life and drive him and his comrades as they undertake their final and most audacious spirit mission.

CPT Horan ’06 Moderates Talks at Google Event

Talks at Google and the Black Googler Network hosted Civil Rights Movement Leader Reverend Joseph Ellwanger and his wife Joyce at Google Chicago. CPT Zach Horan ’06 had the awesome opportunity to plan, execute, and moderate the event. The Ellwangers share inspiring insight into their lifetime of social justice advocacy, much of which is captured in Joe Ellwanger’s book, Strength for the Struggle, a collection of lessons learned from involvement in the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama in the 1960s and later in the peace and justice movement in the Midwest’s inner cities. Click here to watch the video: https://youtu.be/n06Akl4mbng.

Joe’s career spans five decades. He was a minister of St. Paul Lutheran Church, an African-American congregation in Birmingham, Alabama during the height of the Civil Rights Movement and was one of the few white Southern ministers to actively support the Movement. He worked alongside the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to plan demonstrations in Birmingham, led a 1965 march on Selma in support of voting rights, and later met with President Lyndon Johnson to secure his support for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Joe continued to work in Birmingham until relocating to Milwaukee, where he served as a minister until 2001. Today, Joe and Joyce work with a coalition of faith-based groups focused on social justice issues.

Bartkiewicz ’89 One of 100 Intriguing Entrepreneurs

Drew Bartkiewicz ’89Drew Bartkiewicz ’89 lettrs CEO has been recognized by Goldman Sachs as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2016 at its Builders and Innovators Summit. Goldman Sachs selected Drew, a war veteran and serial entrepreneur, as one of 100 entrepreneurs from multiple industries to be honored at the two-day event. He created and founded the popular fanmail app lettrs above his garage to bring multi-language letter writing and authenticated autographs to the mobile generation. His app has won awards from Google Play Editorial, The Next Web and other industry recognition to reinvent mobile fanmail through autographed messaging.

"We are honored to recognize Drew Bartkiewicz as one of the most intriguing entrepreneurs of 2016," said David Solomon, co-head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs. "This is the fifth year that we’ve hosted the Builders and Innovators Summit where emerging business leaders gather to discuss their common interests in building thriving organizations." Drew graduated with honors with a BS in Aerospace Engineering from USMA. He served in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne, under General John Abizaid in the 1991 Gulf War, Operation Provide Comfort. After leaving the military he received his Master's in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management in 1994.

Spieth ’85 to Release "Witch Heart"

Speith 85 - Witch Heart - Leadership Always requires SacrificeThe third book in the Gray Girl series will be available November 11! The first two e-book versions, Gray Girl-Honor Isn’t Always Black and White and Area Bird-Duty doesn’t Always Follow the Rules will be FREE from November 9-11, on Amazon.

Witch Heart - Leadership Always requires Sacrifice: Jan Wishart's cow (junior) year at West Point begins in Airborne School. When a tragic accident occurs on the last jump, Jan returns to West Point under a cloud of suspicion. Someone leaves ominous signs for her to find which causes her to lose a precious and necessary requirement for survival at West Point: sleep. Jan’s mental state is further aggravated by a recurring nightmare about a nocturnal masked predator. Or is he real? Events escalate to the point of no return for Jan and her closest friends. When they swear an oath of loyalty to each other, they have no idea how much it will cost to fulfill that vow. Leadership always requires sacrifice. So does loyalty. And sometimes, one virtue must yield to the other.

Davis ’72 Lecture & Book Signing November 8-9

Colonel (Retired) Tom Davis ’72Colonel (Retired) Tom Davis ’72, will be at West Point during 8-9 November. Colonel Davis instructed in the Department of Social Sciences from 1980-83, and taught all three of the required courses during that period – International Relations, Politics and Government, and Economics. In addition, he taught electives in Energy Policy and Middle Eastern Studies. In his last assignments in the Army he directed the development of the Army’s five-year program and budget for the Chief of Staff. An authority on the pentagon’s “Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System” (PPBS), he’ll lecture cadets enrolled in the National Security Seminar on how the process works – or should work.

After retiring from the Army, Colonel Davis entered the defense industry and rose to be the Corporate Vice President for Strategic Planning of General Dynamics, the Army’s largest equipment supplier. Now the Forrestal-Richardson Industry Chair at the Defense Acquisition University outside Washington, Colonel Davis will also discuss current issues involving the defense industrial base.

Perhaps most interestingly, Colonel Davis has recently published a historical novel, Conclave, a fictionalized account of the pivotal election of John Paul II as pope in October 1978. In the book, the protagonist is a West Point faculty member from the class of 1968 on loan to the National Security Council staff. The book is a Cold War era thriller. Colonel Davis will be available on the afternoon of 9 November to sign copies of Conclave at the Thayer Hall bookstore.

WPAOG Army-Navy Tailgate 2016

Come out and party with the West Point Association of Graduates! Saturday, December 10, 2016 11:30am - 2:00pm. There will be some delicious food and plenty to drink. Tailgate registration closes at noon on December 6. More Info

  • First 700 registrants (1 per family) to enter the tailgate receive a clear Army/Navy bag courtesy of USAA.
  • First 600 registrants (1 per person) to enter the tailgate will receive an Army koozie.
  • It is NOT possible to attend both this tailgate and the cadet march-on due to time conflicts and “no re-entry” policies at the football stadium. You will be able to watch the march-on at the tailgate.
  • Featuring a DJ and performances by the Cadet Spirit Band and Rabble Rousers & Face-painting stations!
  • No refunds after 10:00am on Monday, November 28.

QUESTIONS. Contact Alumni Events at 845.446.1649 or email alumni-events@wpaog.org. GAME. Saturday, December 10 at 3:00pm at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD. For game tickets, contact the Army Ticket Office, 877.TIX.ARMY or visit GoArmySports.com. Check out the WPAOG Ticket Exchange for buying and selling extra tickets. Register

Alumni Glee Club at Carnegie Hall

Alumni Glee Club to perform at Carnegie HallOn February 19, 2017 at 1PM, Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) will present ‘The Glory of Freedom’ at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage coinciding with President’s Day Weekend. Guest Conductor Lee Nelson will conduct Randall Thompson’s The Testament of Freedom in honor of President’s Day. Featured performers include the West Point Alumni Glee Club, an ensemble of veterans who are alumni of West Point. The piece is traditionally performed by an all-male choir, however, the West Point Alumni Glee Club will include two female singers represented in the ensemble. » More Info

Alger ’92 Receives ASME Internal Combustion Engine Award

Dr. Terry Alger '92Dr. Terry Alger, a director in the Office of Automotive Engineering at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), has received the 2016 Internal Combustion Engine Award given by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The award, established in 1966, recognizes Alger’s “exceptional technical and business leadership that has led to multiple innovations in internal combustion engine technologies and the transition of these innovations to production engines for significant real-world impact on vehicle fuel economy.” Alger received the award Oct. 10 during the Internal Combustion Engine Fall Technical Conference in Greenville, S.C.

“This industry recognition is a tribute to Terry’s dedication to improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines,” said Daniel Stewart, P.E., vice president of SwRI’s Engine, Emissions, and Vehicle Research Division. “Terry has contributed many groundbreaking innovations for spark ignited engines to improve efficiency and meet future emissions standards worldwide.” A Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), where Dr. Alger and his inventions have won multiple awards. Since joining SwRI in 2003, Alger has earned 20 patents and authored more than 50 papers on engine efficiency and emissions.

Thank you to the Class of ’76

Class of 1976 Check Presentation at Michie FieldThis past weekend, the Class of 1976, in commemoration of its 40th reunion, generously presented a gift of $1,850,000 to support the Academy Scholars Program. Brigadier General (Retired) Volney Warner, Mr. Timothy Sweeney, Mr. Kim Campbell, and Colonel (Retired) Charles Allen represented the Class. Thank you to the Class of 1976 for its outstanding support of West Point!

Anderson ’56 & Anderson ’88 Release "Becoming a Leader of Character"

Becoming a Leader of Character: 6 Habits That Make or Break a Leader at Work and at Home coverBG(R) James L. Anderson ’56, former Master of the Sword for the Department of Physical Education, and his son, Dave Anderson ’88 recently released the book: Becoming a Leader of Character: 6 Habits That Make or Break a Leader at Work and at Home. While many books focus on developing managerial competencies, most leadership failures are the result of a failure in character, not a failure in competence. But, just like how you don’t get in shape by reading a fitness magazine, you don’t become a Leader of Character by reading a book on Character. You have to DO what you want to BE! Leaders of Character is a “workout plan” designed to develop six Habits of Character by providing small, daily exercises that strengthen your character muscles for the bigger character tests all leaders face. They recently visited West Point Cadet Book Store to debut and sign their book. While writing, editing and publishing the book took just a little over a year, both father and son have been learning about and practicing character for some time.

Brame ’92 Releases "Undeterred"

A powerful true story of overcoming trauma and PTSD.

Brame ’92 "Undeterred" Book CoverThis is a complex and sometimes horrifying book detailing the life of Tracey Brame, a West Point graduate who was brutally raped by her fiancé and suffered from PTSD for years as a result. From the very beginning of this story, Brame holds nothing back – be warned, the first pages make for difficult reading as they outline the immediate aftermath of the rape. But what follows is an astonishing story of one woman’s journey through PTSD and the dawning realization that something truly awful had happened to her earlier in her life. Brame, whilst a highly intelligent child and teenager, seemed to lack what I would call worldly awareness. Her naivety left her in a number of difficult situations from an early age, and even at West Point this lack of awareness of the cruelty and deceit that other human beings are capable of led to yet more awkward incidents. Her fiancé, who she met at West Point, was a psychotic drug-dealer, yet very intelligent and able to manipulate Brame and many other people into doing exactly what he wanted them to do. He, strangely enough, was aware of Brame’s true sexuality long before she was. Whilst she knew she liked girls, it never occurred to her that there was a name for that, or that there was a way to live that lifestyle if you wanted to. Read More

Basik ’87 Invents FlipTowel for Wiping Sweat

Keith Basik ’87 will be launching a new product through his company, KBR Ventures, LLC. He currently has a Utility Patent (patent-pending) filed with the USPTO. The product, called the FlipTowel provides a user with a quick and convenient way to wipe off sweat while doing a variety of activities, such as hiking, biking, running, aerobics, tennis, racquetball, yard work, etc. It is an innovative product combines a sweatband with a high quality micro-fiber towel. The towel can be easily released for use or returned to its folded position underneath the wrist by a unique magnetic design. Click here for the video: https://youtu.be/HOht7vOSkQs.

The official launch date is October 18 thru November 18, 2016. "We are excited to get this product to market," states Basik. "Besides working with the University of Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University's Entrepreneurial Departments, I have also worked with a number of classmates and graduates to help in the develop of this product. We are ready." Basik anticipates that customized FlipTowels with Army and West Point logos may be available as part of the product launch (with minimum orders).

Dempsey ’74 Made Honorary British Knight

Dempsey ’74 Made Honorary British KnightMartin Dempsey, who retired September 2015 after serving 41 years in the Army, has received an honorary knighthood of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, according to a press release on Monday from the British embassy in Washington, D.C. The honor "was awarded in recognition of General Dempsey's steadfast commitment to UK-US defense cooperation," it states. "Throughout his years in public service, he has fostered trust and understanding between the UK's Ministry of defense and the Pentagon. His leadership has been a driving force behind closer collaboration in all aspects of policy, operations and welfare." The release singles out his 2013 reconvening of the Combined Chiefs of Staff Conference, which was initially established to better direct U.S.-British operations during World War II. Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the U.S., will present the award to Dempsey at a later date, Kelly Hysan, a spokeswoman for the embassy, said in an email to Military.com. "The UK-US relationship is critical to much of the UK’s defense and security architecture, and General Dempsey has played a crucial role in maintaining the strong bonds between our two militaries," Darroch said in the release. Read More

BG Sam Lessey ’45 93rd Birthday and Army Tradition

BG Sam Lessey '45 93rd BirthdayFollowing the victory celebration over Lafayette, the Dean’s Staff gathered for the annual post game Lobsterfest. Adding on to the festivities, all had an opportunity to celebrate BG Sam Lessey’s 93rd Birthday. Lessey entered West Point in July 1942. He relied on the camaraderie he shared with fellow classmates to survive the difficult adjustments for first-year students attending a service academy. Lessey credits his peers as a vital resource during his time as a cadet, as well as throughout life after graduation. "I thought, if the cadet on my left can make it, and the cadet on my right can make it, I sure as heck can make it," Lessey recalls. "From an institution like West Point, there's a great loyalty and companionship in sharing everything with your classmates, which carries right on through your life."

Today, that loyalty and comradeship has expanded to the generations following his own. One of those next generations is Dr Jim Dalton, At the Dean’s Annual Lobsterfest, Associate Dean Dr. Jim Dalton presides. Known as Doc Lobsta, Dalton brings his own Maine family experience to the preparation of lobster tailgate. “Once you have the 50+ lobsters collocated with mussels, eggs, kielbasa, and fresh corn wrapped in seaweed, it is time to manage the fire” Using a strict forty minute mark, the fire team is directed, by Doc Lobsta, to keep up a perfect steam. “I have lost arm hair and come home with minor smoke inhalation,” reports fire team member Captain Ben Dalton. “But we never let the fire fall out of tolerance”, adds Bruce Blair. The end product is a new experience to some. “It’s tough seeing those lobsters swim before. But they do taste good after.” reports JIO Junior Heather Graham.

Cadet Manderfeld and all tailgaters had a great time with BG Lessey. “It’s amazing to know that BG Lessey was a member of the ski team and goalkeeper of the Army soccer team. Not many cadets do two sports today.” Upon graduation in June 1945, Lessey was commissioned in the United States Army Air Corps, which would become the United States Air Force on September 18, 1947. After service in Europe, Lessey graduated from Harvard Law School and taught Military Law at the Naval Academy. “This is a graduate that has served in every branch of service, worked on Wall Street, and led the Selective Service” states Cadet Jordan Isham ’17, “I like that, as a West Point graduate, BG Lessey had such a diverse and successful career.”

Although he has stepped down from a six year stint on the Academy Board of Visitors, Lessey continues to be active at West Point, often making the trip down from his New Hampshire farm. “My age is slowing my body down, but the mind is still sharp” states BG Lessey. During his trips to the Academy, Lessey applies his experience and sharp mind to the development of cadets of the Thayer Honors Program and West Point Cycling Team. "To know West Point is to love it." Cadet Manderfeld reflects, “I will carry our sessions together to the leadership of my first platoon.” The new and old traditions of the Long Gray Line continue.

Thank You to the Class of ’96

1996 check presentation 20th reunion 2016Class of 1996 This past weekend, the Class of 1996, in commemoration of its 20th reunion, generously presented a gift of $250,000 to support the Foley Enners Nathe Lacrosse Center and the Directorate of Cadet Activities. Mr. David Leamon presented the gift on behalf of the Class. We thank you for your continued support!

Thank You to the Class of ’06

2006 check presentation 10th reunion 2016Class of 2006 During the victorious Army vs. Lafayette game on October 15th, the Class of 2006 presented a record 10th reunion gift of $710,000 to support the Modern War Institute and the Cyber Research Center. 77% of the class made a gift during the campaign, setting a new 10th reunion participation record. Class President CPT Brandon Archuleta presented the gift on behalf of the Class. Thank you to the Class of 2006 for its outstanding support of West Point!

Remains of Barnes ’43 Recovered after 70 Years

Ben Barnes '43The remains of a World War II fighter pilot from South Dakota will be laid to rest in his home town of Miller next week more than 70 years after he went missing during a fierce combat mission. The remains and some personal items belonging to 1st Lt. Ben B. Barnes were recovered by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency from a crash site northeast of Berlin. Barnes will be laid to rest at a ceremony at 2 p.m. on Oct. 15 at the GAR Cemetery in Miller. Barnes remained missing and presumed dead for decades, in part because the area where he crashed was located in East Germany behind the Iron Curtain after World War II ended and the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States began.

His final mission came on Dec. 5, 1944. Barnes, flying with the 361st Fighter Squadron, 356th Fighter Group, was on an escort mission to protect U.S. bombers. Following the bombing run, the group spotted 40 to 60 German FW-190 fighters, according to an after-action report by 2nd Lt. John Lindsay, who was Barnes’ wingman. Barnes was leading a group of fighters to attack when about five German fighters jumped them from behind. Lindsay reported becoming separated from Barnes in the ensuing dogfight, which lasted about 15 minutes. Full Story »

Fallen WWII fighter pilot laid to rest in hometown cemetery

Robert S. Mueller III Receives 2016 Thayer Award

Robert S. Mueller III Receives 2016 Thayer Award The Honorable Robert S. Mueller III, the sixth director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the 2016 recipient of the Sylvanus Thayer Award, knows a thing or two about what it means to be a public servant. As LTG Robert L. Caslen ’75, Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, noted in his introductory remarks to the Thayer Award ceremony in Washington Hall, “Honorable Mueller’s service spans nearly five decades.” It started as a Marine officer leading a rifle platoon in Vietnam. Then, after earning his law degree, Mueller served as a litigator, U.S. Attorney, and the Acting Deputy Attorney General for the Development of Justice. Finally, he was an unprecedented two-term Director of the FBI, sworn in one week before the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and, as Caslen highlighted, “guided the FBI’s transformation from a traditional law enforcement agency to a threat-driven, intelligence-led national security organization that balanced the security needs of the nation with the civil liberties of its people.” During his remarks to the Corps of Cadets, Mueller condensed the lessons he learned during his years of public service to four concepts, punctuating each with a personal story and a summarizing statement to help them remember these lessons as they embark on their own careers as public servants. Read More

Powers ’88 Selected as 2016 Super Lawyer

John G. Powers ’88John G. Powers ’88 has been selected for inclusion in Upstate New York Super Lawyers for 2016. Mr. Powers is a Partner in the Litigation Practice. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement and is limited to 5% of the lawyers in the State. To learn more about this ranking publication, visit www.superlawyers.com.

MG(R) Edwards ’54 Authors "Stories I Tell my Friends"

MG(R) Edwards ’54 Authors "Stories I Tell my Friends"The author takes you through his experiences as a cadet at West Point and his subsequent training as a jet fighter pilot. Training led to many new locations to include Morocco, Germany and Vietnam. During the assignment from 1967-1968 in Vietnam he flew 252 combat missions. Even after his military days concluded, he found himself drawn one more time to aviation working for a company designing and engineering a rocket plane to take passengers into space.

Burke ’73 Authors "The Weekend Warriors"

The Weekend Warriors coverIt is the mid 1980’s. Under a new president, the United States continues its post-Vietnam withdrawal from the world stage. Domestic affairs are the Administration’s priority, and international affairs are given short-shrift. In Western Europe, this disengagement of the United States causes turmoil and indecision.

The Soviet General Staff observes these conditions and sees an opportunity in the West’s disarray. They believe that one strong, overwhelming offense, launched violently and without warning, would overcome NATO’s defenses before the alliance could react. Once the Soviet forces seized their objectives in West Germany and the Netherlands, NATO would be forced to sue for peace on Soviet terms. Even if the United States could react to the offensive its support would never reach the battlefield in time to affect the outcome. And once the Soviet forces held their ground, the demoralized people of Western Europe would never rally for a counter attack.

To meet this threat and support its allies, the United States is forced to mobilize large numbers of Reservists and National Guard troops. These men and women, who expected to serve only support roles, never to be on the front line, must stand in the battle line alongside their active duty counterparts to defeat the Soviet onslaught and repel the invaders.

Hoege ’94 Named Mariners Museum President & CEO

 Howard H. Hoege III '94The Mariners’ Museum and Park’s Board of Trustees has named Howard H. Hoege III the new President and CEO. Hoege has been acting as the interim President and CEO since May 1 and also helped lead the Museum’s strategic planning process as a consultant in 2015. Hoege earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and served as an Army JAG officer in Tal Afar, Iraq, and elsewhere. After leaving the service, Hoege was a counsel on the staff of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and later an Assistant Dean at UVA’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Before his current role as the President and CEO of The Mariners’ Museum and Park, Hoege founded a consulting firm that advised clients on the intersection of leadership development, strategy, and culture in organizational and civic contexts. Hoege’s wife of 22 years, Cinda, is a small business owner, and the couple has two children.

When Hoege talks about The Mariners’ Museum and Park, his message is simple: “For us, it begins and ends with our purpose: We connect people to the world’s waters - to our maritime heritage - because through the water, we are connected to one another.” For Hoege and the staff and volunteers at the Museum, the positive promise of building strong community through water is not only relevant for Newport News and the Peninsula, but for Hampton Roads, the nation, and the world. “Every day, we see and hear news of the forces that tear our communities apart, that separate us. We believe that The Mariners’ Museum has a very powerful narrative to tell about where we have come from as a maritime people and nation and the forces that bind our community together,” said Hoege. Acting on that purpose, The Mariners’ Museum and Park reduced its admission price to one dollar during the month of August as a way to make the Museum more accessible to those in the community who might not otherwise be able to afford admission. Tens of thousands of people visited the Museum during the month.  According to Hoege, “Our collection is deep enough and broad enough to tell the powerful human stories of the cultures of our local, national, and international communities.”

Thimjon ’95 Joins Sedgwick LLP as CIO

DiAnna Thimjon '95Sedgwick LLP announced that DiAnna Thimjon has joined the firm as its chief information officer. She will lead the firm's international Information Technology operations from its Kansas City office. An innovative executive with more than 20 years of leadership experience, Thimjon excels at aligning people, processes and technology with organizational vision. Thimjon joins Sedgwick after having served as vice president and enterprise project officer at American Century Investments, an international, privately held investment management firm. At American Century, Thimjon was responsible for creating, building and managing the new enterprise business project management office. She also established executive and senior executive governance boards and formed collaborative, strategic partnerships across the company.

In addition to her experience at American Century, Thimjon served as a co-founder and chief information officer for D2Cycles Inc., where she created, built, grew and technologically enabled a B2C, B2B e-commerce retail salvage motorcycle start-up with 2,500 domestic and international customers in more than 30 countries, including three continents -- Asia, South America and Australia. Her experience also includes serving as associate vice president and group director of Technology at HNTB Holdings LLC, as well as IT director at Hallmark Cards. Read More

Order the Register of Graduates